Elaine Arnold CD(PALS, DONA)
AVIV Birth Doula Services
Phone: (425) 344-7703
Birth Fee: $975 to $1200
Fee Details: I gratefully give a $100 fee reduction to military families. Low-income families can receive my doula services through Open Arms Perinatal Services www.openarmsps.org and request me by name.
Birth Doula Experience: 14 years and 140 births attended
Clients per Month: 1 to 5Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Birth Doula with Open Arms Perinatal Services
Languages spoken: Finnish, English
Service Area MapArea of practice: Renton, WA
Elaine was the keystone of the experience. At 34 weeks, i decided that I wanted to attempt a homebirth. When we made the switch our midwife recommended having a doula since this was our firstborn. I was only vaguely aware of what a doula does and was not anticipating the cost. **Hiring Elaine was the best decision we could have made!! Because my labor was so slow and long, it is pretty clear that I would not have made it to the finish line naturally had it not been for all of her advice along the way. Stage 1 labor for 3 nights and 2 days was not something I'd ever want to manage alone. It made all the difference in the world to be able to call a doula, share the stage, and then confidently follow the advice. And later on of course, she was alongside us in person well before the midwife needed to come.
A doula, in my case Elaine, helps other people attending you in the birth. My husband and mother never had to stress out. She showed them how to help me, which took the pressure off - it's not like they had done this before.
Elaine's generous pre-birth sessions allowed us to get to know her, attain some general confidence, and learn a lot.
Elaine's warm support though the birth gave me so much confidence. Because I trusted her so much, I never felt fear - at one point I felt doubt, but never fear.
Elaine is cool! You'll feel she is a longtime friend in no time!
We feel so lucky that the birth of our first child went so beautifully. Even it it hadn't, if we had needed to go the the hospital in some dramatic scenario, I am very sure that I would have benefited from Elaine's presence and been grateful for it. If we have other children, I hope that she will not be too booked to attend!
Elaine was a godsend for my husband and I. We live in Sitka, Alaska and were pregnant with twin girls. Unfortunately due to the size of the town and the limited medical access I was not allowed to deliver my girls in Sitka becuase of the increase in potential complications. It was very important for me to have a strong birthing team because I wanted to deliver my girls as naturally as I could and I knew Swedish Hospital had a high intervention rate. I found Elaine on this site and she was the only doula I contacted. From reading her testimonials and her profile I had a feeling it would be a good fit. I flew to Seattle when I was 32 weeks pregnant. I met Elaine a couple days later and knew right away I wanted her to be my doula. She was full of life and positive energy and I could tell she knew what she was doing. She was very professional and sincere. 2 weeks later I went into labor. The first time my husband met Elaine was in the hopsital room. The labor was long but because of Elaine's knowledge and guidance the time was full of humor and jokes and deep deep breaths! I hadn't gotten any sleep the night before so my energy level was almost non existant. When it was medicaly necessary for me to get an epidural and be put on pitocin, Elaine helped me feel good about the decision. She helped calm my fears and nerves and focus on birthing my daughters. She also had amazing tricks up her sleeve! Essential oils, accupressure,massage, necklaces, strong yet soft hands, a nurturing presence! Because my husband works 12 hr shifts, 7 days a week he was unable to attend birthing classes and had never seen or read about the birthing process. Elaine was able to coach him and guide him and the two of them together were an incredible team. I left labor being even more in love with my husband, and Elaine too! :) Hiring Elaine was possibly the best decision I've ever made. Thanks to Elaine I was able to achieve my dream of birthing my twin girls vaginally!
As I write this review, I find myself unable to really put into words the wonderful work that Elaine did with us. Our first child was born via c-section so in terms of natural birth, this really was our first time. Still, when my wife suggested a doula, I wasn't even sure we even needed or wanted one. However, from the moment we met Elaine, I knew she was the right fit for us. In our first meeting, we talked about our goals and feelings about this pregnancy and we shared some of our misgivings about our current healthcare provider. Elaine inspired us to have our birth elsewhere, which was something I had never previously considered because we were so far along. It ended up being one of the many right choices that Elaine suggested.
In the end, Elaine gave us the confidence to stick with our birth plan no matter how dicey things got (and yes, they got a little dicey!). Yes, we had doctors, nurses, and family, but it was Elaine's unlimited patience and infinite womanly-wisdom (a five-time mother, a grandmother, a breast cancer survivor) that assured me that no matter what happened, things were going to be ok -- and things weren't just ok, they were perfect.
I don't know, maybe there are doulas as good as Elaine out there, but I'm positive that there aren't better ones.
I CANNOT say enough good things about Elaine. I was about 32 weeks pregnant when I went looking for a doula. I never thought I'd need a doula because I believed the hospital would have everything, but I'm so glad I found Elaine. I was 32 weeks pregnant with my second child and feeling very apprehensive about my birth because I really wanted to have a natural birth seeing as how my first child was born via C-section because she was breech. I was going to Swedish and felt odd that they gave me no information how to tour the hospital even though I was soon due. So I reached out to several doulas and Elaine was the most empowering. I never thought to change providers so late into my pregnancy, but she gave me some referrals and the empowerment to find a more comfortable situation. I went with Dr. Merrill in Enumclaw (about an hour from work and 40 minutes from home) because she spoke so highly of him. She was absolutely correct, he comforted all of my fears and took great prenatal care of me. Elaine was also indespensible during my birth. She came to the hospital the same time we arrived and coached me through my entire labor. When the contractions were getting a bit too much for me and I was debating about medication she came up with new ways to help me cope, and I really believe it is because of her that I got to have the birth that I always dreamed about. She was so respectful to my husband and myself and warm, and patient. She's also great with communication. She answers emails within a couple of hours and always picks up my phone calls. She never made me feel unwanted or in the way. It's odd to say because we just met Elaine, but she was such a LARGE part of such a HUGE event in our lives that she feels not like a doula, but like family. She'll always be a part of our family now even though we've only known her for such a short time.
There are no words to adequately describe my gratitude for Elaine's support throughout my entire pregnancry and delivery. She entered the process during my second trimester and met me and my husband twice in our home to get to know us so that we'd be comfortable during labor. In the last month of my pregnancy I was in "false labor" and it was Elaine that checked in on me every few days to see how I was feeling/progressing and to encourage me through the frustrating process. She gave me faith that even though the baby wasn't coming yet, I was getting "good work done" with all of the early contractions.
When the day arrived I felt CERTAIN that I wouldn't make it through labor without medication, though I had originally wanted to. My husband called Elaine and the moment she got to our house and started coaching me, I knew I could do it. From the hours at home to the hours at the hospital, Elaine gently, genuinely and sweetly helped me through each contraction without letting my mind jump ahead to the contractions yet to come. I was so relaxed that after most contractions I actually fell asleep! She gave me the confidence and courage to move through labor according to my body's schedule- and it turns out that was only 3 hours! I attribute that to her! She kept me and my husband calm, focused and filled with joy. I actually considered the whole experience fun, despite the intensity and pain.
Many days I cannot get through a headache without medication, but because of Elaine's help, I was able to deliver precious Levi without any! I KNOW that I could never have had that experience without her. I an so grateful that she was there as we welcomed the sweetest little member of our family. I cannot recommend her enough!!
Elaine was terrific to work with; she met with my husband and I several times to answer questions and alleviate any worries and concerns we had prior to delivery. She was always available by phone and email to answer questions and was always welcoming with her correspondences. Her passion was evident when we first met her and she cannot hide that this is her true calling in life.
I couldn’t have asked more from her as my doula. When it came to the actual delivery she really delivered. Regardless of how much you prepare for birth, you can never truly prepare your mind for what childbirth will bring until you’re in the situation. Elaine was able to know what I needed before I even knew I needed it. Labor is all encompassing and having someone like Elaine in my corner coaching me through every contraction was what I needed to complete the marathon of childbirth. While every person in the delivery room assisted in my successful med free (and IV free) delivery, it was her confidence in me from the beginning that made me believe it was possible and that I could do it! I couldn’t imagine having another child without her there!
Elaine was our doula for the birth of our daughter a few weeks ago and I can't express how thankful we are to have had her help and experience.
Our birth quickly changed into the opposite of our plan: hospital, pitocin, epidural, and finally c-section (happily with a healthy baby and mom). Elaine was there, supporting and encouraging us, for about 24 hours of my wife's 36 hour labor - a commitment of time and energy I never would have expected necessary let alone possible, but she accomplished it with poise and serenity. Despite taking several birthing classes and reading multiple books in preparation, I was really a useless man during the unexpected and painful process, and I don't know what either one of us would have done without the rock-steady comfort and support that Elaine so readily provided. All my plans and expectations went out the window and if not for Elaine, my wife might only have had the comfort of the (fortunately great) nurses that came and went around us as I was at a loss for what to do.
It seems like ages ago we first met Elaine when my wife was in her first or second trimester, and we hadn't seen her in a few weeks by the time birth happened, and yet, through experiencing birth side-by-side with Elaine, I think of her with great fondness, as a very special person who was an integral part of the amazing event of our daughter's birth - and I look forward to one day being able to (re-)introduce our daughter to Elaine when she’s a little older and able to remember!
In short, I highly recommend Elaine as a doula and as a wonderful person!
My husband and I both are EXTREMELY thankful to have worked with Elaine Arnold. I loved having her there because I had done all of my prenatal classes with her so instead of having a stranger (I love nurses, but don't know many of them) coaching me through the process, I had a friend doing it. My husband loved it because Elaine was able to gently coach him through what he could do to help me. Elaine is one of those people that you instantly fall in love with. She is very knowledgeable and constant working to learn more. She is a ton of fun to be around and when the going gets tough (i.e. transition time!), she is one of the most soothing, comforting people that I know. Elaine has been with us for the birth of both of our children, and will definitely be there for any others that we have. She has always been available to answer any questions that we have had before or after birth. We LOVE Elaine!
I had a fantastic birth experience with Elaine! My labor nurse and my doctor both said she was the best doula they had seen, and although this was my first birth, I can't imagine a better doula experience.
Elaine was covering for a doula I had hired because my doula was at another birth, so I didn't actually meet Elaine until I was in active labor. She came in to the hospital room and I immediately knew that it was a good thing that she was there. Even though we never had a chance to discuss my needs/desires/fears ahead of time, she did exactly what I needed throughout the labor to keep me focused and get me through a pitocin-induced labor without drugs. She was encouraging and supportive, she had great methods to focus me through contractions, she distracted me well the 2 times I almost went for the epidural, and she also was very knowledgeable and useful in identifying issues that could have slowed down my labor.
Overall, I was very impressed with Elaine. Up until the day of labor I wasn't sure if I wanted a doula at my birth and boy, am I glad I had Elaine there!
Elaine was an excellent advocate and support person to have during our special delivery. Throughout the process of preparing for the birth, labor and post-partum, Elaine was accessible, accountable and always had our family’s best interests as her priority. Furthermore, her positive attitude, loving approach and extensive knowledge was extremely helpful when we needed to make decisions and required further support during medical complications. Although the birth plan did not go as expected (whose does??) we have a healthy, happy little boy and we are so glad that we had Elaine on our team to assist in the delivery of such a miracle for us! I highly recommend Elaine’s Doula services to any mother preparing for childbirth.
My husband and I worked with Elaine last year for the birth of our first child and it was a fantastic birth experience! From the weeks leading up to our son's birth, to the birth itself, and followup, we all felt extremely supported by Elaine. Elaine is a very easy person to get along with. From the first time I met her, I felt as though I'd known her forever. She has a natural "mom" vibe to her and is a great calming force.
We met with Elaine several times before the birth to go over expectations. Everything from going over our birth plan to answering questions of what to expect at each phase of the birth journey. We had taken a course in Hypnobirthing, so wanted to use that as our birth technique. Elaine has experience in Hynobirthing.
As is common with first births, mine went past the due date. Elaine called each day and would even call before going out on a run to make sure I wasn't in labor at that time. :) She talked me through my Braxton Hicks that seemed to mimic real contractions on a nightly basis. When labor really started, she met us at our house before we went to the hospital. Labor was relatively quick (5 hours from admission to birth), but my pushes were not too productive at first. Elaine suggested many different positions (on the toilet was comfortable) and I ended up giving birth on my side. During contractions, she was a great cheerleader and supportive when I was correctly pushing. Between contractions, Elaine was there to offer a cold rag, coconut water, encouraging me to relax, and also helping instruct my husband on what to do.
After our son was born, Elaine stayed with us for an hour. After the journey we went through together, my husband and I were sad to see her go.
She visited us about a week after our son's birth to see how everything from nursing to my general wellbeing was.
I'm hoping to have another child and I already know I want Elaine in the room with me.
To start off, it is very rare in life that you meet someone who is doing exactly what they are meant to be doing! Elaine has the experience, the knowledge and the training to help get you through the pregnancy and delivery, but she also has something more innate. She has an inner calm and patience that she was able to pass on to me during my 34 hours of labor.
We found Elaine off of this website with a bit of a "Hail Mary" last minute effort. My husband and I hadn't taken any classes, but were determined to have a natural birth at Swedish. Our doctor sort of laughed at us and said it would be a good idea to get a doula! We contacted Elaine with less than three weeks to go.
She came to our house, got us up to speed and helped us practice some relaxation techniques.
During labor Elaine was indispensable. She never got tired of fining new ways to help me deal with the pain and stay relaxed. My husband and I were exhausted and I know Elaine's support was able to give my husband some much-needed rest.
She also checked in after the birth to make sure everything was going well once we got back home! She really is a prenatal class, a birthing coach and a post partum/nursing coach all wrapped into one! And she is always excited to hear from you... Even when it is three in the morning and you are telling her your water just broke.
The birth of my first son ended up having a C-section. It was the most terrible experience and left me feeling angry and dissapointed because I was robbed of the joy of the natural birth experience. So when I was pregnant with my second son I was dertemined not to have anther C-section and it was in the seventh hour of labor that I then realized that I needed help breathing and staying focued on the primary goal, to give birth naturally. Elaine helped me stay foucused and breathe and when I had terrible back pain, she helped relieve the pain by applying presure and that at least decreased the pain by sixty percent. Also, when I was stuck at being dialated 8 cenimeters for three hours and felt hopeless, Elaine gave me hope and comfort because she has this way of soothing me and keeping my calm. Simply put, she was very nurturing, motherly and had this pleasantness about her. Because of having Elaine at the second birth, it hard to believe that I didn't want to have a natural birth the first time, it gave me hope knowing that I could have more safe and natural deliverlies without all of the drugs. I felt so proud of myself for accomplishing this amazing birth and it made me feel like I could do anything! Furthermore, I fell like I wouldn't have been able to have such a successful birth without Elaine at my side because she was such blessing. Without a doubt I would most definitly recommend this amazing doula to all of my friends and family because she also does have a medical backround and I even had my nurse tell me that Elaine was doing a better job then she. Even because the roles were competeling different, Elaine found it easy to work and deal with the medical staff because she understands what is going on. She was very proffesional, pleasant and caring. Once again, without a doubt I would recomend her to anyone.
Elaine came into my life exactly when I needed her. I didn't have the support from my child's father as I had hoped and even though I had support from friends and family, Elaine provided something they couldn't. It was very easy to relax and be open with Elaine. She is the epitome of the definition of a doula. She supported me physically and emotionally. She gave me the strength to plan my labor for what I needed and not worry about everyone else.
When I went into labor everything was quick. My contractions went from 2-4 minutes to 60 seconds apart in 2hrs. Elaine had to coach me over the phone. Just hearing her voice and knowing she was there helped me relax.
My daughter was born safely and healthy because of the wise choice to have a doula. Doctors can be too focused on the medicine and not the patient. Doulas like Elaine are your advocate and are solely focused on your well being and positive labor experience.
To put it simply, Elaine is amazing and wonderful, and everything I could ask for as a doula. I started my search for a doula a little late in the game, but I was lucky to have met Elaine. I liked her instantly. She was genuine and warm, friendly and cheerful, caring and sweet - all the things you would want for the person supporting you in your journey of giving birth. She was also informative, organized, professional, and resourceful. Before our initial meeting was over, I was sure I wanted her as my doula. Though we didn't have much physical time together before I gave birth, she was still very present - always checking in with me either by phone, text, or email. During our prenatal visits, she did everything in her power to make sure I was well informed and comfortable with everything going on and with everything I was feeling. Less than a month after I hired her, my beautiful baby boy was born by natural VBAC (vaginal delivery after c-section) with no problems at all thanks to her guidance and calming presence.
Through it all, Elaine was a constant support and provided so much comfort. She answered any questions I had, provided information beyond what I thought I needed, and if ever she wasn't sure about something, she found the answer! On top of all this, I got the added bonus of having my placenta encapsulated (at no extra charge)! Elaine happened to get certified shortly after we met. My husband and I were so grateful for everything she did for us that we paid her more than what we originally agreed to. You really can't put a price on what she does, and I can’t say enough about how great she is. I whole-heartedly recommend her to anyone searching for a doula.
During the third trimester my husband and I decided that instead of delivering at the hospital, we wanted a midwife to deliver our baby at a birth center. Since this was my first pregnancy, I did not know what to expect and really wanted a doula that could support my husband and I. We received a handful of doula referrals but decided to go with Elaine. Choosing Elaine was the best decision we made in regards to our birth plan!
The first time we met Elaine, my husband and I were impressed. She was very organized, prepared, and brought up things we would have never considered. For example, she asked me to take a tour of the birth center and also visited our home so that she would know how to get there quickly when I started labor. More importantly, we felt her genuine, thoughtful, and caring spirit.
Elaine is very intuitive and provided continuous physical, emotional, and spiritual support before, during, and after labor. While I was experiencing intense contractions, Elaine rubbed my back and coached me to breathe calmly. The pain level dropped immensely! She asked questions to make sure I was comfortable and had everything I needed. Elaine was so in tune to me that even with very subtle signs, she knew when I was in transition (I didn't even know). My labor was very fast that I ended up giving birth at home instead of the birth center. Thank God for Elaine! She knew I was progressing a lot faster than it appeared and was able to communicate this to the midwife.
Elaine exceeded our expectations! My husband and I ended up paying her more than what we agreed to in the beginning because we were beyond satisfied! Elaine is an amazing woman. We felt her love, warmth, and kindness instantly. She is so thoughtful and provided us a very memorable birth experience. Words cannot express how much of a blessing she was to our family.
I learned of Elaine through a friend who told me that when she was in labor, Elaine's use of massage and pressure decreased her pain to a manageable level. She complemented the role of my friends husband; she in no way tried to "replace" the special role her husband had at the birth of their daughter, she respected and honored what he brought to the birth.
Elaine is indeed a strong woman; emotionally, physically and spiritually. She has a strength of character that I believe is a fruit of being a mother of five, battling cancer and supporting so many mothers during labor and delivery. It is this strength of character that was a great comfort to my husband and I while I labored at home, in the Swedish Hospital rotunda in the middle of the night, in triage, and finally in the delivery room.
Throughout my labor, having both Elaine and my husband as my support team proved invaluable. She supported my husband as much as she supported me and helped my husband & I to build memories we can look back on with fondness in the years to come.
Once we went to the hospital, Elaine walked with me for hours in the middle of the night, massaging my back and helping me to breath through each contraction, while my husband got some much needed rest. When the hospital sent me home because I wasn't progressing, Elaine came with us, spending the night in our guestroom and supporting us through the next day when my baby was in a painful position.
If you choose Elaine as your birth doula, you will be giving yourself the gift from the time you decide to work with her during your pregnancy until you are home with your dear little baby. When you need her, she will be there, supporting you and helping you build wonderful memories to share with your baby from pregnancy to delivery.
= Available. Calendar last updated: Updated 9/21/2014